Friday 9 December 2016

Mulgrew is desperate to play against Ireland

Andy Newport

Published 07/06/2015 | 02:30

Charlie Mulgrew: 'You saw against Qatar everybody fighting for their place so I’m desperate to be involved next week as much as anybody else who was out there'
Charlie Mulgrew: 'You saw against Qatar everybody fighting for their place so I’m desperate to be involved next week as much as anybody else who was out there'

Charlie Mulgrew declared himself "desperate" to face Ireland in Saturday's crunch Euro qualifier in Dublin following his return against Qatar.

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The Scotland defender picked up a hamstring tendon injury early in December, which kept him out of the friendly against Northern Ireland and the Group D qualifier against Gibraltar in March. He did not return to action until Celtic's last two SPL games.

Gordon Strachan gave welcome game time to the 29-year-old and some other players whose domestic season had finished a month ago in the Vauxhall International Challenge Match at Easter Road on Friday night.

In a game arranged as a warm-up for the trip to the Aviva Stadium, Mulgrew came through with flying colours in the 1-0 win, which came courtesy of Matt Ritchie's first Scotland goal.

With attention now turning to the trip to Dublin, Mulgrew stressed his desire to be involved. "You saw against Qatar everybody fighting for their place so I'm desperate to be involved next week as much as anybody else who was out there," he said.

While Mulgrew hopes to keep his place, Strachan's starting line-up will be different next week. Steven Whittaker, Russell Martin, Andy Robertson, James Morrison and Steven Fletcher could all come back as Scotland look to open the gap over Ireland to five points, which would be a significant step towards qualifying for the France finals.

Mulgrew was pleased with the display and result against Qatar but knows the encounter in Dublin will be something altogether more challenging.

"The game in Ireland is a whole different game and we will prepare for that," he said.

Sunday Indo Sport

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